The government has debunked assertions that it made up allegations of fraud as a basis to cancel its concession agreement with the Power Distribution Services (PDS) deal to inure to its own benefit.
Some critics had alleged that fraud claims against PDS were made up to form the basis to terminate the deal to allow some individuals in government to benefit from the deal.
But addressing the media to announce formally processes to abrogate the contract, Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the motive of government in the concession has rather been to ensure efficiency and not create loot and share.
“No effort to get Ghana a good deal has been spared. The government has not been up to any machinations. The intent has been to ensure efficiency in the ECG turnaround program and the fulfillment of a broader compact all along. Is there anything wrong with switching from 80-20 percent to 51-49 percent? No!”
“The government holds the view that in transactions of this nature, Ghana and Ghanaians should be given an opportunity to get a stake as much as it is possible. Is there something wrong with switching from bank guarantee to as supposed to insurance guarantee? There was nothing wrong with this change. It was the only feasible path at that stage as the tariff methodology had not been made available as at that time”, he added.
Government today [Wednesday] commenced processes to terminate the concession agreement between it and the PDS.
The move follows the announcement of the cancellation of the contract by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta after a meeting with officials of the Millennium Challenge Corporation.
The US government has since discontinued the provision of $190 million to support the turnaround of the ECG.
Gov’t complicity in botched PDS deal was glaring
Chairman of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), Dr. Steve Manteaw has said that the recent developments on the termination of the PDS deal show the government cooked up claims of fraud.
He asserted that the Committee made up of government appointees could not have done a better job at exposing a supposed complicit plot meant to benefit individuals within the government.
“I am not surprised at the turn of events. I knew it was going to come to this especially when the government suggested that there was something irregular about the insurance guaranteed by the PDS concession. That for me, even that allegation didn’t sit well because I was pretty sure government was aware that there was something wrong with the financial capacity of PDS. So all these allegations of irregularities may have been cooked to form the basis to terminate the contract. I am pretty sure that if the team that investigated the deal was independent, it may have established government’s complicity in the matter,” he said.
ECG takes over power distribution
This latest development has officially paved way for the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to from today, Wednesday, October 23, 2019, assume full control of electricity distribution business in the southern part of Ghana.
In a statement, the ECG said;
“The Electricity Company of Ghana Limited (ECG) has today, 23rd October, 2019 terminated Private Sector Participation Transaction Agreements with Power Distribution Services Ghana Limited (PDS). ECG has therefore assumed full operational and financial control of the electricity distribution business in the Southern Zone of Ghana with immediate effect. Consequently, all activities which were hitherto undertaken by PDS have reverted to ECG,”.